Why is deep learning important?
It is still unclear what the long-term impacts of this technology will be. Large changes in productivity have occurred in history, and the potential of deep learning is comparable to other general purpose technologies (steam, electricity, chemical manufacturing, etc) responsible for those changes. While there are many real-world applications of today's deep learning in computer vision, natural language, and perhaps soon in robotics, these impacts would have to increase by several orders of magnitude to be reasonably compared with the general purpose technologies which drove previous industrial revolutions. However, as anybody familiar with the history of the industrial revolutions knows, once it is obvious to everybody that things are working you may not have time to catch up.
It is therefore worth noting that rich governments (US, China) and corporations (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Baidu, Alib